Black History Month Podcast Roundup
The month of February presents a unique opportunity to engage and reflect on the progress we’ve made and the purpose we share. The challenge ahead tasks us with ensuring that Black History Month conversations live beyond its last day, and instead, that we work to employ our heightened awareness to garner true impact year-round.
As we near the end of this month, we’d like to highlight podcasts as a tool with which to extend this engagement. Podcasts are a standout medium that work to shine a light on the pressing issues facing the Black community while amplifying some of the most knowledgeable, referential, and entertaining voices of color. These are some of the “pods” that Fenton is tuning into, both this month and beyond:
- #TellBlackStories (Color Of Change). Host Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, shares the stories of changemakers and content creators who are leading the fight for authentic representations of Black people in entertainment. Notable stars and past guests include actor Michael B. Jordan, writer and producer Lena Waithe, and rapper Common, to name a few!
- NPR Code Switch. The concept of “code-switching”, switching from one mode of expression to another depending on setting, as a means of ingratiation or survival for people of color has come to the forefront in recent years. What began as an NPR blog covering race, ethnicity and culture has since grown into a podcasting platform, where hosts Gene Demby and Sheeren Marisol Meraji delve into the social and political issues affecting Black communities, with honesty and empathy.
- Go Off, Sis. Refinery29 recently launched the “Unbothered” platform, a community made for and by Black millennial women. Episode titles include “Check your stress, Sis” where the Unbothered team, led by Managing Editor Danielle Cadet, get real about their traumas, and “Corporate While Black”, which takes a look at the unique challenges that Black women face in the workplace, from navigating imposter syndrome to finding a mentor.
- NYT Still Processing. Each week, Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, culture writers for The New York Times, discuss “the things that move them” through the perspective of two queer-identifying journalists of color. Topics range from dissecting the triumphs and pitfalls of Jennifer Lopez’s career, to drawing parallels between HBO’s “Watchmen” and Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” as forces shaping the narratives of modern life.
- #VotingWhileBlack (Color Of Change). Launched by Color Of Change PAC, Rashad Robinson sits down with nearly every front-running Democratic presidential candidate to explore the issues that are top-of-mind for Black voters, from criminal justice reform to voting rights. The podcast, which features interviews from Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, prioritizes the concerns of an electorate that makes up nearly 25 percent of Democratic voters and works to hold candidates accountable.
- Pod Save the People. Activist and organizer DeRay Mckesson presents news that oftentimes falls at risk of being overlooked and going under-reported: this includes topics of social justice, politics, and Black culture. He is joined by experts and influencers like writer and activist Brittany Packnett, policy analyst Samuel Sinyangwe, and scholar Clint Smith. Pod Save America and Pod Save the World are “sister podcasts” under the Crooked Media umbrella.
- The Read. Kid Fury and Crissle are two hilarious hosts bringing comedy and cultural commentary to listeners each week. Frequent topics include their shared love of Beyoncé, as well as weekly salutes to those exhibiting “Black Excellence”. The podcast inserts a well-needed space for joy and laughter in the daily fight for justice.